About the OAS
The Organization of American States (OAS) and two of its most important organs, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (the Commission) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Inter-American Court), are the key regional mechanisms dedicated to the promotion and protection of human rights in the Americas.
These bodies provide essential forums in which non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can engage governments in human rights debates, advocate for the protection and promotion of human rights, and seek redress for individual or collective human rights violations.
Our Work at the OAS
Race and Equality provides technical assistance to Afro-Latino, indigenous, LGBTI+ and other human rights organizations on how to implement an advocacy agenda in the OAS. We maintain a constant presence in the meetings of the political organs of the OAS and have worked with this regional institution together with human rights organizations to promote the approval and ratification of new regional instruments.
We are currently seeking to build the capacity of Afro-Latino and indigenous organizations to work with their governments and their government delegates at the OAS to advocate for the signing and ratification of the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance (CIRDI), approved by the OAS General Assembly in Antigua. Guatemala in 2013.
Race and Equality also works to build the capacities of its partners to present critical information on specific human rights issues to the various political organs of the OAS, such as the Permanent Council, the Summits of the Americas Process, and the General Assembly, in order to promote the participation of these organizations in the fight against racial discrimination.
From our Legal Program, we carry out actions such as requesting precautionary measures and provisional measures for human rights defenders, and we litigate cases of human rights violations before the IACHR and the Inter-American Court. To this is added the advocacy work to denounce the situation of people deprived of liberty for political reasons.
Race and Equality has played a key role in the thematic hearings before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, presenting alongside expert testimony from our partners on issues such as
- Racial discrimination in the region
- The human rights situation of Afro-Colombians and the human rights situation of Afro-Brazilian youth
- the situation of LGBTI+ people in Colombia and Brazil
- the situation of Afro-descendant women in Latin America.
Race and Equality has played a very important role in the Ratification and Implementation of the Inter-American Convention against Racism, Racial Discrimination and Related Forms of Intolerance (CIRDI) and the Inter-American Convention against All Forms of Discrimination and Intolerance (CIDI).